Travis Homer

Bears RB Khalil Herbert To Miss Multiple Weeks; Team Signs Darrynton Evans

The Bears’ resounding Thursday night win against the Commanders, which broke Chicago’s 14-game losing streak, came with a price. As Tom Pelissero of NFL.com reports, running back Khalil Herbert will miss multiple weeks after suffering an ankle injury in the victory over Washington. Per Josina Anderson of CBS Sports, Herbert sustained a high ankle sprain and could land on injured reserve.

While Herbert’s rushing attempts this year have been somewhat limited by game script and the fact that quarterback Justin Fields carries the ball a great deal, he has played at a high level. He has 272 rushing yards on 51 carries — good for a strong 5.3 yards-per-carry average — and has added 10 catches for 83 yards and a score. The Bears’ offense came to life against the Broncos and Commanders over the past two games, and Herbert has performed especially well in both contests. In Chicago’s narrow loss to Denver in Week 4, the 2021 sixth-rounder recorded 18 carries for 103 yards and added four catches for 19 yards and a TD.

Denver and Washington are both fielding porous defenses at the moment, but Herbert’s play is in keeping with the ability he demonstrated over his first two years in the league as a backup to David Montgomery. Now with 283 NFL carries to his name, Herbert has maintained a career 5.1 YPC rate and has proven himself worthy of an RB1 role.

The Bears are also rostering talented rookie Roschon Johnson, who has 25 carries for 122 yards (4.9 YPC) and 11 receptions for 53 yards in 2023. Unfortunately, as Pelissero notes, Johnson is dealing with a concussion, and Travis Homer is battling a hamstring ailment. As such, free agent acquisition D’Onta Foreman — who has accumulated just five rushing attempts this year — could be in line for a larger role in the short-term.

Pelissero reports that Chicago, in an effort to fill out its RB depth chart, has signed running back Darrynton Evans off the Dolphins’ taxi squad. Evans, a 2020 third-round pick of the Titans, was waived by the Bills during final cutdowns in August and joined Miami shortly thereafter. He has not appeared in a game in 2023, but he has familiarity with the Bears, having played in six contests for the club last season.

“Real Competition” Expected For Bears’ RB1 Role

The Bears made an effort to retain longtime starting running back David Montgomery this offseason, but Montgomery eschewed the club’s offer and elected to join the division-rival Lions. Chicago then added D’Onta Foreman to the RB room in free agency and selected Roschon Johnson in the fourth round of this year’s draft. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune believes that there will be a “real competition” for the RB1 role, with incumbent Khalil Herbert, Foreman, and Johnson all having a legitimate shot to land the gig.

Herbert, a 2021 sixth-round choice, has flashed plenty of promise during his first two professional seasons, mostly working as a complement to Montgomery. Over 30 games (three starts), Herbert has accumulated 1,164 rushing yards on 232 totes, which represents a sparkling 5.0 yards-per-carry average. He has added 23 catches for 153 yards and has scored seven total touchdowns.

Foreman, meanwhile, has taken a little longer to realize his potential. A third-round pick of the Texans in 2017, Foreman had a decent showing in his first year in the NFL (78 carries for 327 yards and two TDs), but a torn Achilles cut his rookie season short and forced him to miss most of 2018. He was waived in advance of the 2019 season, with poor work habits reportedly accelerating his departure from Houston.

After sitting out all of 2019, Foreman caught on with the Titans’ practice squad in September 2020 and ultimately appeared in six games for Tennessee that year. In 2021, he got his first extended opportunity to shine since he was a rookie, as he carried the ball 133 times for 566 yards (4.3 YPC) as an injury replacement forĀ Derrick Henry.

Foreman signed with the Panthers last March, and following theĀ Christian McCaffrey trade in October, Foreman became Carolina’s feature back. He ended the 2022 season with 203 carries for 914 yards (4.5 YPC) and five touchdowns and was rumored to be a hot commodity should he and the Panthers fail to agree to a new contract before free agency opened this year.

Of course, Foreman and Carolina did not come to terms on a new deal, so the Texas product became a free agent once again. While the suppressed running back market and his lack of receiving prowess limited him to a one-year, $2MM contract with the Bears, he is well-positioned to have a sizable role in Chicago’s offense, even if he is not the official starter.

Johnson, another Texas alumnus, enjoyed a 5.6 YPC average over his four years with the Longhorns. It stands to reason that he would start his career behind Herbert and Foreman on the depth chart, though Biggs believes Johnson’s draft status puts him firmly in the mix to receive the lion’s share of the carries right out of the gate.

The Bears’ heavy investment into their running attack this offseason did not stop at Foreman and Johnson. Chicago also added Travis Homer in free agency, and the club is still rostering 2022 sixth-rounder Trestan Ebner. While Ebner, who carried the ball 24 times for 54 yards last year, would be hard-pressed to earn many rushing attempts if the Herbert/Foreman/Johnson/Homer quartet remains healthy, Biggs believes the second-year pro could nonetheless retain a roster spot due to his receiving and special teams abilities.

Bears To Sign RB Travis Homer

Shortly after losing their starting running back, the Bears have added at the position. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that Chicago has agreed to a deal with running back Travis Homer. Homer got a two-year deal worth a maximum of $4.5MM, per Schefter.

[RELATED: Lions To Sign RB David Montgomery]

David Montgomery started 43 games for the Bears over the past three years, including 16 starts in 2022. However, the former third-round pick left for the Lions earlier this evening, opening up a significant spot on the depth chart.

Homer shouldn’t be expected to carry the load in Chicago, but he’ll provide the coaching staff with some dependable depth at the position. The former sixth-round pick has seen time in 49 games for Seattle over the past four seasons. He had his best season in 2021, finishing with 338 yards from scrimmage. He followed that up with a 2022 campaign that saw him compile 231 offensive yards and one touchdown.

The Bears probably aren’t done adding at the position, but it’s noteworthy that they didn’t look to immediately replace Montgomery with another big name. This bodes well for Khalil Herbert‘s ability to earn the starting gig in 2023. The former sixth-round pick has been productive in his three starts over the past two years, topping 100 yards from scrimmage in each of those contests.

In Seattle, the Seahawks will be eyeing a slightly different RB depth chart in 2023 with Homer gone and Rashaad Penny joining the Eagles. The Seahawks will surely be looking for some additional depth behind Kenneth Walker and DeeJay Dallas.

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/7/23

Today’s minor transactions heading into the final Sunday of the regular season:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

  • Promoted from practice squad: WR Josh Ali

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Seahawks RBs Kenneth Walker, DeeJay Dallas Game-Time Decisions

DECEMBER 11: Walker is not expected to play against the Panthers, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (via Twitter). The Seahawks hope to have him back in action for their upcoming Thursday night matchup with the 49ers.

DECEMBER 10, 3:05pm: Walker and Dallas have both been upgraded to questionable for tomorrow’s game, increasing the likelihood that they make an appearance against the Panthers, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The two still have not practiced all week, so it will be intriguing to see if they are still game-time decisions tomorrow and how much they will play, if at all.

The team also announced that it will be elevating practice squad running back Godwin Igwebuike, who converted to running back last year for the Lions after a couple years as an NFL safety. In 17 games with the Lions last season, Igwebuike ran the ball 18 times for 118 yards and a touchdown, adding seven catches for 60 yards. He also returned kickoffs for the Lions, which may indicate that he is taking an injured Dallas’s spot on the kickoff return team.

Seattle will use its second standard gameday elevation on practice squad receiver Laquon Treadwell.

DECEMBER 10, 2:04pm: Initially listed as questionable after injuries in last weekend’s win over the Rams, Seahawks running backs Kenneth Walker and DeeJay Dallas have both been downgraded to doubtful leading into the team’s matchup against the Panthers this Sunday, according to ESPN’s Brady Henderson. Both Walker and Dallas will be game-time decisions to play this weekend.

Seattle was closing in on panic mode as Walker, Dallas, and fourth-stringer Tony Jones all left the game with injuries. With primary backup running back Travis Homer already declared out for last week’s game, the Seahawks were in trouble when Walker and Dallas exited the game. When Jones sustained a hard hit and made his way to the injury tent, Dallas was asked to return to play despite being listed as doubtful to return.

Walker and Dallas are both technically possible actives for tomorrow, but neither has participated in practice at all this week. This may present Homer with his fist starting opportunity since his rookie season. A former sixth-round draft pick out of Miami, Homer has mostly served as a reserve back in a deep position room. Behind the team’s usual top running backs duo, Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny, Homer was granted few opportunities to run the ball or show his prowess catching passes out of the backfield during his first three seasons.

Homer has held onto a roster spot much the same way as his former Hurricanes teammate, Dallas: stellar special teams play. While Dallas’s special teams impact has come as a returner. Homer tends to play on all of the kickoff, punt, and return units. He’s racked up a good amount of special teams tackles with aggressive play and even forced some turnovers. In fact, his lone rushing touchdown in the NFL could be attributed to his special teams play as he scored on a 73-yard rush during a fake punt. He has another special teams touchdown from an onside kick recovery that saw him recover the attempt and speed past would be tacklers as they looked for a ball that was on its way to the endzone.

Homer’s first start three seasons ago came in a Week 17 game that saw injuries force his way up the depth chart. The team signed then-retired running back Marshawn Lynch to back him up, welcoming Lynch back after four years away from the team. In his lone regular-season start, Homer rushed for 62 yards on 10 carries and caught all five of his targets for 30 more yards. He also started the Seahawks’ first-round playoff game before Lynch got the start in the second round.

If Walker and Dallas are unable to go, Jones will likely serve as Homer’s backup. Recent practice squad addition, Wayne Gallman, is also reportedly ready to play if Seattle needs him. Whoever is taking handoffs, Seattle may need a big game from them against a Panthers defense that has been more vulnerable to the run than the pass this year. A big game from Homer and company may be needed to keep the Seahawks from going 0-4 against the NFC South this season.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/29/22

Here are the minor moves leading into Sunday’s slate of games:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Commanders

Seahawks Sign LB Alexander Johnson, Activate DE L.J. Collier From IR

A three-year starter with the Broncos, Alexander Johnson did not generate much free agency interest this offseason. Despite past production, the veteran defender lingered on the market for seven-plus months. The Seahawks will provide another opportunity.

Seattle is adding Johnson to its practice squad, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets. The team also activated L.J. Collier from injured reserve. Wednesday marked the final day Collier could hold an IR-return designation. The former first-rounder remaining on IR after today would have meant his season was over. The Seahawks also signed wide receiver Kevin Kassis to their P-squad.

Only a four-year veteran, Johnson is nearing his 31st birthday. An off-field issue delayed the off-ball linebacker’s NFL entrance, but he produced once bumped into Denver’s starting lineup early in Vic Fangio‘s tenure. Pro Football Focus consistently graded Johnson as one of the league’s top off-ball ‘backers. The Tennessee alum posted 124 tackles in his most recent full season (2020), helping Fangio’s defense particularly against the run. Johnson joined offseason Seahawk trade acquisition Shelby Harris as key Fangio-era starters in Denver.

An injury also affected Johnson’s market. After placing a second-round RFA tender on Johnson last year, the Broncos moved on following the linebacker’s torn pec. Denver lost both its primary off-ball starters last season, but its new regime re-signed Josey Jewell over Johnson. With Seattle DC Clint Hurtt being a Fangio disciple, Johnson could prove a fit.

The Seahawks moved on from Bobby Wagner this offseason, giving Cody Barton a starting job alongside Jordyn Brooks. While Brooks continues to work as an every-down player, Barton has seen his role diminish somewhat in recent weeks. Tanner Muse, Nick Bellore and Cullen Gillaspia reside as the backup linebackers on Seattle’s 53-man roster.

Seattle also designated cornerback Tre Brown and running back Travis Homer to return from IR, Condotta adds (via Twitter). Each is back at practice Wednesday.

Brown has been out since November 2021 due to a knee injury. The 2021 fourth-round pick started three games as a rookie, but the Seahawks have made some changes at the position since Brown last played. They have used two 2022 draftees — Tariq Woolen and Coby Bryant — as regulars. Homer, who has been with the Seahawks since 2019, suffered a rib injury against the Falcons in Week 3. Kenneth Walker has taken over as Seattle’s lead back, but Homer has been a backup presence and special teams regular since 2019.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/28/22

Here today’s minor moves from around the league:

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Seattle Seahawks

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/24/21

We’ve compiled a list of players who were placed on or activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list today. In some instances, players activated from the list remain on IR:

Baltimore Ravens

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: S Chuck Clark, C Trystan Colon
  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: RB Nate McCrary
  • Placed on practice squad/COVID-19 list: QB Chris Streveler

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: DB Jordan Fuller, TE Tyler Higbee
  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: OL Cole Williamson

Miami Dolphins

  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: RB Gerrid Doaks

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: RB Travis Homer
  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: OL Pier-Olivier Lestage

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/20/21

A long list of players were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. We listed the players who landed on the list today, as well as those who were activated off the list:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: DE John Franklin-Myers, DB Sharrod Neasman

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team